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Chris Pine May Be the Next Jack Ryan in Series Reboot

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 12:19 PM

Chris Pine as James T. Kirk in Star Trek. Copyright © 2008 Paramount Pictures.Chris Pine did a pretty good job of taking the helm of the rebooting of the Star Trek franchise, and Variety is reporting that he's up for the job of Jack Ryan in a reboot of the series of movies based on books by Tom Clancy:

Talks are just getting underway, but Pine is expected to come aboard the Jack Ryan film as the project takes shape. The studio and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are working with a script draft by Hossein Amini, based on an original concept. They are still in deep development and it is unclear whether Pine would make another “Star Trek” before the Jack Ryan film. He will clearly be working often for Paramount over the next several years.

Click the Read link below to view the entire article on Variety's site.

Is Pine up to the task that has been handed down from Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger), and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears)?

In my opinion, Harrison Ford did the best job of the three previous actors, but Baldwin did nail his role. Affleck was a mistake of casting in a mistake of a movie that even Morgan Freeman's presence couldn't redeem. Based on what he did on Star Trek, I'm somewhat hopeful. Let's hope he leaves the whiny part of his Kirk character behind, though.

I'm actually more interested in which movie they are going to do, and the impact that decision will have on the prospects for the other books to be developed as well. Clancy's Jack Ryan books were more about intrigue and suspense than they were about action, but the John Clark books let the action rip. They could have quite a series to develop if they pick the right person for John Clark and spin him off into the direction of Without Remorse and Rainbow Six.

While Debt of Honor would be a good one to start with, as it involves some current-day issues, the aspects of its climax (crashing a plane into a major government building) may be unsettling for some and it would require quite a bit of courage from the studio. That books leads right into Executive Orders, which may require more maturity from the Jack Ryan character than the 29-year-old Pine can pull off right now.

So that takes us to going back to the beginning of the Jack Ryan character. Since Patriot Games and The Hunt for Red October have already been made, that leaves Red Rabbit, which is a story about an attempted assassination of the Pope. The Cardinal of the Kremlin could also be done, but the basis of both stories is the Cold War with Russia, which is ancient history for the target demographic of most movies.

I certainly hope they don't try to remake any of the existing movies, except for The Sum of All Fears, of course. The movies that deal with rogue terrorists are going to strike a much better chord than Cold War Russians, but the later books that deal with the rise of China may have some good relevance to work with.

Time will tell! Hopefully, Paramount thinks long and hard about how to handle rebooting the Jack Ryan series. If they take the wrong step, they could be the first to mess up a reboot, which would probably kill the series altogether and put other reboots in jeopardy as well.

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Oct 14, 2009 - Scott Jentsch VIP Member

Brad Pitt could be a good John Clark. In "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" he successfully pulled off playing much younger than his age, and he has the screen presence to make the darker side of John Clark really menacing. He tends to play wisecracking characters, so that could work against him.

Russell Crowe has the screen presence, but he might not be able to look young enough for the part in Without Remorse, since it takes place a full 10 years before his involvement in the Jack Ryan books. 

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